Nudging og etik

Jesper Riisgaard Ternsøe

Studenteropgave: Speciale


The following thesis initially explores the theoretical underpinnings of a “nudge” and subsequently carries out an ethical analysis in order to establish a more general framework applicable to the use of nudges in public policy domains. Futhermore, it includes a response to the criticism of nudging being indistinguishable from manipulation. The main argument revolves around the proposition that there are essential distinctions to be made between four different types of nudges, where some are more ethically defendable than others. These distinctions are based on ethical criteria derived mainly from the concept of autonomy, where they designate conditions sufficiently conducive to substantive freedom of choice. The criteria employed include “epistemic transparency” and a distinction between “system 1 and 2”-nudges. The notion of “epistemic transparency” is criticized and elaborated. Additionally, ontological and epistemic issues in relation to nudging and preference formation are discussed. Afterwards, an example of relevant to public health policy demarcates the ethical limits of such an analysis. The conclusions are offered in support of a two-dimensional matrix that helps to ameliorate ethical concerns pertaining to the practical implementation of nudge interventions.

UddannelserFilosofi og Videnskabsteori, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatSocialvidenskab, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato28 jun. 2016
VejledereKirsten Bregn & Thomas Søbirk Petersen


  • autonomy
  • ethics
  • manipulation
  • nudging
  • libertarian paternalism
  • nudge